“Earth porn”

What is “Earth Porn”?
Well, what is your first association when you hear it?
Think about it for a second.

Wikipedia:
“Pornography is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual arousal.”

Lets rephrase that:
Earth porn is (the explicit portrayal of) epic natural subject matter (for the purpose of) causing instant aesthetic arousal.

It seems to me, that my whole journey has been earth porn.
Seeing the cool stuff you normally find on the Internet.
The cool stuff i myself am now contributing.
To know what i am talking about scroll down and look at the pictures ๐Ÿ˜‰

This will be my last ocean entry for a while as we have arrived in New Zealand. So all you friends of the sea read with great caution.

In Port Villa i spent some time with the local muslim youth.
I made some interviews (i will soon upload a compilation of some of my video material as soon as i get super fast internet), drank Kava, made some good friends, got 2 dreadlocks, flirted with the local ladies, went big time shopping on the local fruit market and had a lot of fun.


We left Port Villa in a pirate manner, almost ramming a high voltage power line on our way to refueling, luckily nothing happened.
Due to the blockage to the fueling dock, we had to wait for the big dock to be free and got in line with a 1000 people cruising ship and a huge sea cable boat.
Oh how happy the people of Port Villa are that they also will have high speed internet soon…
We spend the time waiting in a Jam session aboard.
Finally we made music again… it was about time.

A day later we arrived in Tanna, world famous for it super active volcano Mt Yasur.
We anchored right next to the hot springs, in which i gladly indulged myself. At low tide it is a very twosome place ๐Ÿ˜‰
We went to the volcano as soon as we could, we already saw the ash clouds from the boat.
BUt pictures can say more than words on that one…i can just say: The lava was flying very high, and very close to us. I was looking at the crater the whole night, it did not get boring at all…earth porn for sure. No wonder they asked for money.

And just in time for the first of Advent a group of 40 guys came aboard to make music with us… so much fun!
(excuse me but i am a little tired writing this ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

And so we left for Auckland…
Out of Paradise into the glass and concrete world of western civilization.
We actually started catching fish again, it seems the Chinese fishing boats have not made it this far south yet, (or New Zealand just has more money for the coastal law enforcement.)
When the NZ coastline appeared it felt like we were in Lord of the rings ๐Ÿ˜€
After 6 month living on a boat i finally made it to New Zealand.
Took me some time one could say.
We cleaned the whole boat of any organic plant material or insect residue which we might have stowed from somewhere (that really took us some time)
And then in the light of the 16th of December we saw the skyline of Auckland.
It felt like arriving on another planet.
but i will address culture shock and a review of the whole journey in the next blog entry as i have the feeling this one is getting quite long.

I hope you had fun following my blog until now.
Please give me some feedback how you like the format, the content etc.
What would you like to hear more about? what do you think is unnecessary blabbering?
Australia is coming up!

So long Ole
p.s. i am flying to Australia on the 24th of January

A bestialic beauty: Vanuatu

For everybody who does not understand the title, Vanuatu is beautiful, like a rough untempered diamond.
It is incredible.
I feel like i have been transported to jurassic park or lord of the rings. The rough beauty of this place is breath taking!
We arrived in Espiritu Santo on the 4. of november and visisted the Blue Hole, a lagoon in midst of the mangroves. The ride through the forest, i am afraid my vocabulary of complete awe is limited, was incredible. It looks so untouched, you expect dinosaurs to appear around the corner. At the blue hole, we had loads of fun with a rope swing that was connected to one of the trees from Avatar.
From E. Santo we went to see pentecost, where we anchored next to some dugongs, beautiful creatures. We had a long walk through a paradisical island, little villages, crystal clear streams, coconut trees (i just love them ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and lava rocks. (please forgive me, i just list this stuff as if it was nothing, but its just so many cool things that happen here) We picked up some hermit crabs which we raced in the evening.
After that we had a short crossing to the next island, Ambrym with two active volcanos.
We climbed one of them.
The trip that was expected t take 8h took us 12 instead…11h of straight walking. I voluteered to carry the camaera eqippment of our filmmaker…lets just say it was quite a workout ๐Ÿ™‚ but the view was unique, we saw plants which should be extinct and a vulcano, sadly it was very foggy while we were up there, so no lava, instead we had “lord of the rings”- atmosphere… but we could see the glow of the boiling rocks from our boat.
We also went to see the Custom Kastom dancing, which turned out to be a tourist trap, but who cares the dancing itself was quite cool. The dancers stomped so heavy the floor was vibrating.
Yesterday we had a short stop in a bay with fantastic coral, the most alive we have seen in a while.
It is quite scary to see all this coral dying everywhere. The whole aquatic ecosystem is based on them. Without corals there are no breeding grounds for fish, without fish there is major trouble.
It is 12o’clock, we now suffer the effects of the global warming made in the 60ies, the worst is still to come. (excuse my pessimistic worldview, i can’t help it)

But enough darkness, i got some colors for you:

The Passage

First off, i am sorry, that you didn’t hear anything from me for such a long time.
The main reason is not that i didn’t have anything to tell you, but that i was on sea for more than 2 weeks and did not have any internet.
Also we have a videographer on board which makes me a very lazy photographer. Why make a picture if there is somebody with a huge camera setup who makes delicious crisp videos.
The downside of this is however, that it will take ages until the videos are all edited and uploaded.

Lets start at the beginning!

Last time i wrote we just arrived in Chuuk the wreck diving place.
We toured in the huge lagoon and pirated some of the Japanese war ship wrecks, as we did not pay a guide.
I experienced a glimpse of island politics, as I met with the mayor and vice-governor of Chuuk concerning our environmental mission.
And although th US is slowly infiltrating their culture it was very nice to see that the Island culture is still existant.
Or as my friend (the first nephew of the micronesian premier minister) said: “It doesn’t matter how many Cheeseburger or Pizza
are in you, you are still a sea goer by blood”

One of our crewmembers got a very bad infection on her leg and she had to fly to the next island to go to hospital.
We took the best wind and followed her in a fast sail.

It took us only 2 days to reach Pohnpei, the home of one of the ancient pacific civilizations, comparable with the roman empire.
The ruins are made of vulcanic balast rock, wich grew in very handy “logs”…the whole complex is over 2km long and completly in between the mangroves.
So everything was build onto the watersurface.
The channels between the different island parcels still exist and give a good impression of how the life must have looked like a thousand years ago.

The next day we decided to spend a night ashore on the top of a mountain near an old Japanese gun station.
We hiked to the top where we had an amazing view over the bay and the tuna fleets unloading their scarce catch.

It is scary talking to the islanders, everybody is talking about the fish getting less and less, smaller and smaller.
Somehow it is a different feeling, reading that China is over “Peak-Fish” and talking to a village chief who tells you the big ships take all our fish.

On our way back from the viewpoint to the camp we found something special.
I thought it only existed in myths or stories but here it was, fluorescent mushrooms.
They made the forest twinkle. At first we only saw a few but after time your eyes could see that the whole forest was full of them.
Pohnpei was fluorescentย all over. The bay that we anchored in was litย every time we drove the dinghy. Sadly one cannot make pictures of the algae, but when i swam in it it looked like i was on fire.
The scene in “Life of Pi” was nothing compared to it.

After pohnpei we had a 14 day passage to the next island.
We crossed the equator in our dinghy .
Our filmmaker was filming infinity in the middle of the ocean…videos are coming up some day ๐Ÿ˜€
Reading a lot, sails up, sails down…passage routine.


Then one day suddenly we arrived in Tikopia.

The island survived the strongest cyclone of the century basically without outside help and no deaths.
The reason, soft leaf roofs and tons of breadfruit.
The island was very idyllic and the huge volcanic lake in the middle just added to the charm. On the island we met a Norwegian family which made a children’s documentary about this little paradise.
They joined us for our Halloween party – the picture many of you have seen already.
But pictures say more than thousand words:

Now we are in Vanuatu.
And its pretty nice…but thats for another time…

So long
Ole

the silence before the storm

Hello Everybody,
i kept telling me that i should write something again, but as always in moments like this, watching an episode of “Game of Thrones” is way more relaxing than writing a blog entry ๐Ÿ˜‰
Ok quick update: I left Vietnam.
I am in the Philippines now, on the Island of Cebu. ‘
Doing a refit on a boat called Infinity.
I met Clemens, our captain, in Phuket for the first time, we decided to meet again here.
Some Pictures of the recent past:

I

I will stay on this boat till New Zealand (yeehaa!) and I will learn how to dive and do open ocean sailing (double or maybe even a triple yeehaa)
Obviously we stop in all the small little island in the middle ๐Ÿ™‚
I feel super good here.
After the long period of idleness, i feel so good to work and create something. Also after the whole “3-week-maximum” of knowing people having a relatively constant crew for the next few month feels very relaxing. Its almost like having a family, because the 3 children (1, 2 and 13) of Clemens are also aboard.
I am very looking forward to the trip to Palau.
In a few days we will make a short break of the whole messy ship (construction sites everywhere) and do a trip to the whale sharks in the south of the island. I am exited!!
So Long
Ole
p.s. i am very sorry for this basic, short blog post, but after working every day (our Filipino workers come at 7am) i am quite tired, and happy i wrote this little piece ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nong Kiaw+Muang Noi – Welcome to the Jungle

After PeeMai (thai: Songkran) I found some travel companions other than my backpack. A Kiwi couple Sanji and Catelyn (People from New Zealand), One Italian girl (Gemma) and one Dutch girl(Roos). So we were a colorful mix ๐Ÿ™‚ We made our way by bus to Nong Kiaw. It is a beautiful “city” in midst of huge limestone walls, the Nam Ou river and Jungle where ever you look. We decided to camp near the river, which was a nice thing to do, if it wasn’t for the rain in the night…but my huge backpack includes a big tarp, so we got out dry after all ๐Ÿ˜‰

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After 2 nights we went on to Muang Noi, a serene place that is only reachable by boat and was supposed not to have any electricity…but we arrived one week late.
Chinese money and a mass of seasonal tourists slowly modernize the country.
At least there was no Internet…yet.
One night and two all you can eat buffets later we started a supposedly easy one-day-trek to the next small village Ban HoySien , that really did not have electricity yet (at least only self produced)
On our way there we got to know about a tribal village that was “only” 3h trekย after HoySien.
There we asked the guest house owner for the way and got a really confusing description that got us almost killed… am i exagerating? A little maybe. But if we did not have a guardian angel in the form of a local hunter appear to us, we would have walked straight into…..Damn, i almost took away the suspension.
We only saw what was coming after one more hour of walking, but i cannot make you read for one hour, can i?
The Hunter told us with an relieved face (relieved that he found us) , that the Village we were looking for was the other direction.
When we were asking what was in the way we were going he made a motion with his hands and said something like “Fire-fire” and “No-No”
We just trusted his directions and walked back, almost lost our path again and then we saw the other side of the valley lit up in flames.
It was the biggest fire i have ever seen…by far. I think the flames were about 7-8 meters high, and covered a huge area!

After we recovered from this shock, we went on…to find ourselves in the next tricky situation.
You probably know how the Lonly Planet advertises it can get you “off the beaten track” well we were literally looking for it…there was just no pathway anymore. Leeches were everywhere, crawling through the holes made for shoe laces…brrr
but we found a promising path after wading through 50m of creek…and it seemed to be the right.
We were so relieved when a Tribe couple came along this path to tell us we were back on track.
But soon our water reserves, which were not planned for a 5h but for a 3h trek, were exausted. That’s when our second guardian angel appeared, he brought us all the way to the Kamu-village showed us a small creekย to refill the water (no i did not get sick from it…and it was better than dying of thirst ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

The Village Ban KiuKaan is a barren, a little bit depressing place.
Everything is done for survival, the men are hunters, the women collect bamboo.
It is self-sufficient, but its not an easy life on top of the mountain.
But the children develop games anyways, with what ever they have, in this case two big flat round seeds…for a game at which i am not very good at ๐Ÿ˜€
I tried my best.
The next day we walked to Ban Hatsepui, a long but easy trek, we were really relieved after all this walking in the sun with about 39 degrees to see the Nam Ou.
Ban Hatsepui is a much moreย happy place, the grounds seem to be fertile, the river is directly adjacent and the children have an open smile on their faces. In short it was way easier to get integrated in the children’s activities, then in the Kamu-village. They actually invited us to play their games.
Finding a stone on the rocky riverbed, that is thrown in again and again (wow these kiddies are fabulous swimmers…butterfly, freestyle etc. with 8 years) or shooting slingshots at supposedly impossible targets.
Games i guess, that will help in later life…but so easygoing.
I really enjoyed this village. Teaching them cardgames, juggling, getting shown around in town, painting fingernails, running around etc. just having a lot of fun together.
And the Adults watched happily somebody is finally powering out their children ๐Ÿ˜€
Then we took the morning boat back to Muang Noi, and relaxed there for a few days.
And the rainy season started….but thats stuff for the next entry ๐Ÿ˜›
Enjoy:

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Now our group splitt, me and Roos have a hitchhiking competition with the other three. Who can reach Tachek first…bad only that it seems to be raining every day ๐Ÿ˜•
we will see
So long Ole

Water! – Mekong and Buddist New Year

Wow the last few days were so rich of events…could you even say that? “rich of” or “poor of” events? Anyhow you get the point, i crossed the Thai-Laos boarder, i slept i a dodgy guesthouse in a boarder town (Muang Ngoen…or something like this ๐Ÿ˜€ from Nan to Pakbeng)…had a amazing busride through the mountains of northern laos, saw a lot of burned hill sides, took a very old looking ferry over the Mekong and spend the night in Pakbeng…a very strange place.
I arrived around 2pm and the little town or big village was like a ghost town…almost nobody was around all the restaurants seemed pointless, as they were closed anyhow…but the boats arrived at 6 and it broke loose a massive change in the village.
It was a strange experience to see the 2 faces of such a touristic place.
But i can not say this often enough:
I can totally understand all the tourists, as i am one myself, because it is really beautiful! The only important thing is the mentality of the tourists. Do they try to adapt to the country they are in, or if they are bringing their own country with them.

The Next day i took a “slow” boat to Luang Prabang for the buddhist new year celebration.
The Mekong is amazingly beautiful…white sand beaches next to the river, lush jungle behind it and sparkles of bamboo huts that simmer through the leaves. And the traditional long fisher boats…WOW
The only downpoint is all the trash that floats in the middle…styrofoam, plastic, burned woods from all the forest fires (which i still haven’t decided if i can like them or not ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and other unidentifiable stuff…that makes me not take a bath on one of these beaches ๐Ÿ˜‰

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When we finally arrived after 7h sitting on the floor in the back (i don’t know what crazy voice in my head told me that i will be more relaxed in the back than on the comfortable seat i was sitting on first ๐Ÿ˜€ )
There was a big confusion, because instead of taking us to Luang Prabang they took us to a station about 5km before…obviously they had some kind of deal with the TukTuk drivers ๐Ÿ™‚ tss..
Ole decided to walk…after 5 minutes a i was able to hitchhike…sometimes you just have to take a dare.
While sitting on the back of the Pickup i had the first experience why the New Year here is called water festival ๐Ÿ˜€
My driver stopped at every place on the street with people standing and the soaked me completely ๐Ÿ˜€
It was such a nice and liberating feeling. Everybody was smiling and dancing on the street…and it still continues…loud musik everywhere, lots of beer, water and foodcolor ๐Ÿ˜€ but please, see for yourself ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I decided not to write anything about my plans anymore, because everytime i do that, something happens, that makes me change them completely! ๐Ÿ˜€ Which is not necessarily a bad thing…
“If you want to make destiny laugh, tell it your plans”

So Long Ole

p.s. i am so sorry for the felt 100pictures, but i just could not decide which one i did not want to share with you ๐Ÿ™‚

p.p.s. As always, thank you for reading, and please feel free to comment and ask crazy questions, i don’t bite (at least not if i don’t know you that well ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama

and about 10.000 exile Tibetans.

I have lost track of time.
How long have i been here in this wonderful Tibetan colony.
I taught German and English to some really motivated Tibetans.
They have organised a whole volunteer system to teach interested people, not only from Tibet, but also from Bhutan, Vietnam, Nepal etc. for free.
When you talk to the Tibetans on thing i really dominating the topic, Chinese Occupation and the suppression of Tibetans. You get to know how they crossed the Himalayans, how the Chinese raid the natural ressources of Tibet (which are really rich by the way) and destroy most of the wild life.
The Tibetan flag is omnipresent and you can see “Free Tibet”-signs and stickers in all variations.
All is overshadowed by huge posters of the People who burned themselves for peaceful protest. So far it have been 59 people immolating themselves, and the number is growing.
The tibetans don’t even want a free Tibet anymore, because they know China will never give it up, but the want an end to the suppression, and the killing and torturing of innocent people.
To give an example, in Tibet you are not allowed to have a Picture of the Dalai Lama in your Home, otherwise you will go to prison. And i think everybody agrees, that the Dalai Lama is nobody to be scared of.

These people are refugees, political refugees, who don’t have freedom in their home country, and because everybody is eager to make business with china, nobody dares to touch this sensible topic on a political level.

BUT
Even though the situation seems hopeless, the people are happy. They enjoy their lives and smile.
Because:
“If you have a problem and there is a solution to it, you don’t need to worry.
And if you have a problem and there is no solution, there is simply no point in worrying.”

So please inform yourself about this issue, and also inform others if you already know, because some people don’t even know what Tibet is… :-/

but enough of Tibet.

I had a Reiki session, which was impressive.
I make progress in Meditiation, even though i still don’t have a teacher.
I got sick again, but i got over the worse. Just a little cough and clogged nose left.

My plan is to go back to Bir for a day, and after that take a train to Karnataka.
I heard Hampi and Gokarna are 2 of the most beautiful places in India, the Ole is going to investigate ๐Ÿ™‚

Now:
Pictures:

One central temple with prayer mills in Dharamsala

The audience for the play due to the 52nd Aniverary of the Tibetan Childrens Village

The sitting kids symbolize the Tibetan border, the ones inside the different aspects of tibetan culture…it was really a really neat play about Tibetan history….and yes at some point China came, occupied it, cut down the Trees and killed the Animals.

Khampa, a Tibetan guy i know from English conversation class. we hiked to the bakhsu waterfall.

Just the Ole, chillaxing at the river ๐Ÿ™‚

On our way back, this guy wanted to sell drugs to me. When i realized that i was seeing a real Arian i had to refuse the drugs and take a pic instead. (Look at those eyes!!!)

Speaking of Arians, Indians have no problem with svastikas whatsoever…

Second trip to the waterfall with Patch, a crazy yet cool Irish guy, i somehow forgot to take a pic…it will follow
We got onto the river pretty far down and rock climbed our way up as far as possible. when we saw this nice place with the amazing stone faces we stopped. (it might be that we stopped because Patch had a little accident…but the place was amazing!!)

so after a while of reading, relaxing and accupressure, i decided to take a shower ๐Ÿ˜‰

After taking a shower, you need to enjoy the other attractions, too!
So JUMP!! *brrr

First shocked

Then happy!!

This guy is Rajan, my german student..or a chance to earn some pocket money…

I hope you all are well, i am feeling better and think i’ll be completely healthy in a few days ๐Ÿ™‚

So long Ole

p.s.: I am really interested in who reads this Blog, can anybody who reads this write a little comment? either here or on facebook?….i am a little curious ๐Ÿ˜€